Relational Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
with Dr. Antonietta DiCaccavo

CBT Explained

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy explained

Over recent years, CBT has gained much popularity and it is widely used in the NHS by Counselling and Clinical Psychologists. The research evidence for the effectiveness of CBT is strong and it is seen as the intervention of choice for a range of problems, particularly depression and some forms of anxiety (National Institute of Health & Clinical Excellence).

It was originally developed in the US  by Aaron T. Beck in the late 1970s and is built on the assumption that emotional difficulties such as depression, anxiety and anger are maintained by unhelpful beliefs, such as ‘I am a loser’, ‘I can’t cope alone’ or ‘I should always get what I want’.  Therefore the therapy aims to change the client’s thinking as a way of promoting more balanced emotional states.

During CBT, the client and therapist spend time exploring the meanings that the client gives to situations, their feelings and their physical reactions.  Although there is a focus on thinking, the purpose of this is to reach and understand emotional states, and see how these are related. By understanding the kind of thinking that goes along with distressing emotions, the client is likely to be less frightened and confused with how they are feeling. There is an emphasis on getting to know how we think and to keep this realistic.

 CBT is a structured and time-limited approach. Therapist and client agree goals to be worked on and the client practices therapeutic tasks between sessions in order to reinforce and consolidate their learning. In this way, by the end of therapy, the client is likely to take with them what they have learned in sessions and to be more equipped to deal with any future difficulties.

Website Builder